This semester, we revamped Athletes2Coaches training, and we’re so excited about how it went! During the first two weekends of February, we trained 48 athletes, both new and veteran, from American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and Howard University. Athletes at training represented eight different sports and a wide number of majors – from health science to international affairs to finance to education. This awesome group of student-athletes brought an infectious energy to training that allowed everyone to develop their facilitation skills and up their coaching games.
Natalie Clark, a junior on Georgetown’s rowing team noted, “The commitment and energy at training this year was on another level! Everyone was really excited to be there and eager to learn as much as possible. Overall it was a fantastic training!”
During training, the coaches learned all the games and key messages in our new expanded sexual health curriculum, practiced facilitating games, and learned important facilitation skills. We also spent some time discussing our all-girls curriculum, Grassroots Girls, and practiced facilitating the games and key messages specific to the GG curriculum. Coaches also did many energizers and brought back the Shoutout Competition in epic fashion.
We were honored to host many incredible guest speakers, including Dominique Cauley-Butler, a DCPS Assistant Principal who spoke about engaging with DC youth; Gabrielle “Miss Gabby” Martinez from Planned Parenthood, who helped teach our student-athletes how to discuss sexual health with young people; and Professor Philip Lucas from GW, who spoke about facilitating discussions about LGBTQ issues with youth.
“This year’s training was the best that I’ve seen in my time with Grassroots,” Leader Team member David Lincoln said. “It was amazing to see a lot of new coaches getting excited and engaged in our mission. It’s especially exciting to have our first full group of athletes from American go through training.”
Now that all our athletes – both new and old – have been trained in our new expanded sexual health curriculum and the Grassroots Girls curriculum, they’ll be delivering programming in teams of 4-7 in six schools throughout DC. Both these curricula still contain a number of hallmark TGP games, including Find the Ball and HIV Attacks, but they also contain games that address sexual consent, STIs and unplanned pregnancy, relationship violence, LGBTQ issues, and condom negotiation. We hope that these new games and activities will help our students make healthy decisions, and encourage their friends, families, and peers to do the same.